Berry Tramel

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College football: Ranking the Big East non-conference schedules

by Berry Tramel Modified: June 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm •  Published: June 18, 2013

Time to analyze Big East football’s non-conference schedules. Why? Because for one last year, the Big East has an automatic berth to the BCS. One of these teams will play in a major bowl. Next year, when Louisville and Rutgers move on to the ACC and Big Ten, respectively, this conference becomes the American Athletic Conference and loses its standing with a major bowl berth:

1. SMU: Texas Tech, Montana State, at Texas A&M, at TCU. Heck of a schedule by the Mustangs. Three old Southwest Conference foes, all of them decent teams at least.

2. Central Florida: Akron, at Florida International, at Penn State, South Carolina. Few teams will play a pair of opponents as strong as the Nittany Lions and Gamecocks.

3. South Florida: McNeese State, at Michigan State, Florida Atlantic, Miami. Typically strong schedule by the Bulls.

4. Connecticut: Towson, Maryland, Michigan, at Buffalo. UConn also hosts South Florida, Louisville and Rutgers. That’s a good home schedule.

5. Temple: at Notre Dame, Fordham, at Idaho, Army. Notre Dame solves a lot of scheduling woes.

6. Cincinnati: Purdue, at Illinois, Northwestern Louisiana, at Miami-Ohio. Decent schedule for a program fighting for its football life.

7. Rutgers: at Fresno State, Norfolk State, Eastern Michigan, Arkansas. The Scarlet Knights won in the Ozarks last season.

8. Houston: Southern U., Rice at Reliant Stadium, at Texas-San Antonio, Brigham Young. Not a great schedule, but the Cougars move into a new stadium in 2014.

9. Louisville: Ohio U., Eastern Kentucky, at Kentucky, Florida International. Not a schedule befitting a program of the Cardinals’ status.

10. Memphis: Duke, at Middle Tennessee, Arkansas State, Tennessee-Martin. Actually, for Memphis’ lack of standing in college football, this isn’t an awful schedule.

 


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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